Looking for paradise on Earth? Then you might take a tip from the British poet Lord Byron, and set a course for Portugal. During his Mediterranean travels in 1809, he discovered Sintra, and described it as a "glorious Eden". Not surprisingly, this enigmatic town of fairy-tale castles, fantasy forests and glistening waterfalls was classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1995.
And not far from Sintra, located on the Portuguese Riviera, is the picturesque town of Cascais. This formerly quaint fishing village is now a cosmopolitan resort town featuring fine restaurants, fashionable shops and plenty of tree-lined streets to stroll.
From Lisbon, it's about a 45-minute drive to Sintra and Cascais, two of Portugal's most enchanting places, and well worth taking the time to explore.
Here's a selection of Silversea Mediterranean voyages offering the chance to visit Sintra and Cascais from Lisbon in 2012:
Voyage 1213: Silver Cloud, Monte Carlo to Rouen, 8 - 20 May
Voyage 1220: Silver Cloud, London to Monte Carlo, 13 - 27 August